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Cloth Menstrual Pads & Menstual Cups

Cloth Menstrual Pads

It’s really unfortunate that there are so many women that have never heard of reusable menstrual products. Particularly cloth menstrual pads. Boobalou is here is offer women a choice.

Reusable, washable sanitary towels come in a variety of sizes, absorbencies and fabric to suit your individual need. They attach to your underwear with poppers and are extremely comfortable to wear. Like this:

They do not contain any nasty chemicals and are eco-friendly. All you have to do is wash them. Pop them in your washing machine with NO fabric conditioner. The average woman may use 11,000 – 15,000 disposable menstrual products in her lifetime. Imagine all that sitting in the landfill still long after you are gone. Disposable pads are normally made from 90% plastic. Here are more reasons why you should ditch the disposables today!

Caring for your pads

You should pre wash your brand new pads before wearing them as this will increase their absorbency. Pads face patterned side up. Patterned side against your skin. Wrap the poppers around your underwear to keep them in place. You will need to wear well fitted underwear to keep the pads in place. You can wash your pads with other laundry, I would just make sure you cold rinse them first either in the sink or in your machine. Otherwise, wash with dark laundry.

Please do not use fabric softener as it will affect their absorbency. Use half the amount of recommend detergent as detergent can build up in your pads and cause leakage or can irritate your skin. You can wash between 30-60 degrees. Tumble dry low but it’s much better to line dry. I would not recommend tumble drying pads with PUL or bamboo velour.

If you are worried about stains you can rinse them in a sink before washing. You can also soak them in a bucket of cold water. It’s more affective to rinse them before the blood dries. You can also use a cold rinse cycle on your washing machine before your main wash. However, it’s not necessary to run two pre-rinses as it’s a waste of water. The sun’s UV rays are a natural stain remover so it’s great to line dry your pads whenever possible. I would not recommend drying your pads directly on a radiator, especially if they contain PUL or are topped with Bamboo Velour.

There are many different fabrics, sizes and absorbencies to choose from. You need to find what works best for you. It’s personal preference as to what fabrics you prefer. Natural fibres tend to stain more but are easily treated with a quick cold rinse a soak. They are your pads and it doesn’t really matter if they do stain. For top fabrics natural fibres tends to stain easier but might be more breathable.

Minky is a man made fibre and is stain resistant. It is very soft some people find it a little warm but it’s personal preference.

Cotton feels like an extension to your underwear and you can get some lovely cotton prints to brighten up your stash. Cotton stains easily.

Bamboo Velour is soft and feels luxurious. Can stain a little.

There are many different fabrics to choose from, however you need to find what works best for you.

You will need around 10 – 25 pads if you are exclusively using reusable sanitary pads for your periods.

Storing soiled pads

You will need a wet bag or nappy bucket to store your used pads before washing. If you are worried about anyone seeing your soiled cloth pads  you can fold your cloth pads and snap the wings together like this. But other will the top fabric facing inwards…

You can also store your soiled pads in a bucket with cold salt water or dry pail(store with no water). Dry pailing is recommended for pads with PUL as soaking in water for a long time may damage the PUL.

While out and about you will need a wet bag to store clean or soiled pads.

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are a great alternative to tampons with no known risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. They collect blood rather then absorbing it. They are reusable for around 2- 10 years depending on the brand and you only need one cup, so very good value for money too.

Depending on your flow and the cup you can wear a cup for around 8-12 hours before emptying. You can wear the cup over night. Just empty your cup before going to bed and then empty it again in the morning.

Menstrual cups are also much cleaner to use than disposable tampons. You can sterilise your cup by boiling for around 3 minutes. Do not over boil, stay with your cup while boiling so you do not over boil. Another method is soaking in diluted malt/apple cider vinegar, with a 3% concentration of vinegar. You should follow the manufactures instructions for sterilising  your cup as recommendations vary. During your period, you can simply use water or non-perfumed soap.

When out and about you can empty your cup in a public toilet and wipe it off with a cloth wipe and reinsert. Just wash your hands before removing.

Always wash your hands with soap before inserting or removing your cup. To insert a menstrual cup, it must be folded. Cups can fold up smaller than tampons to be inserted into your vagina. There are many different ways you can fold your cup for insertion, such as:

The C-fold
– Squeeze the sides of the cup together
– Fold the cup in half

Punch Down
– Push down the rim of the cup with your finger
– Squeeze the sides of the cup together
– Hold the base of the cup to insert

7-Fold
– Squeeze the sides of the cup together
– Fold one side over the other side to form the shape of the number 7 on the rim

Here is a video to show many ways you can fold your cup…

To find a suitable sized cup for your body you will need to find your cervix during your period. Measure with a finger how far in it is from the vaginal entrance. To find this out you can feel with your fingers, it’s best to do this while on your period. This will tell you what cup length you need. Then choose a width based on your flow. Here is a video to show you how to do find your cervix…

Other things to consider when choosing a cup is the firmness. This can depend on your pelvic floor muscle strength and how sensitive you are. You will also need to consider your flow too. However, it is personal preference to which cup will be right for you.